Sunday, May 31, 2015

John Lassester Previews Upcoming Pixar Films

Inside Out is just around the corner and has been receiving rave reviews so far, but let us not forget about all the other treats Pixar has in the oven right now. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter gave a brief preview of the studio's upcoming slate, sharing minor plot details about the much anticipated The Good Dinosaur as well as Finding Dory, the sequel to 2003's Finding Nemo.

The Good Dinosaur, which Lasseter says will put a "unique Pixar spin on the dinosaur world" will follow the Apatosaurus Arlo, voiced by Lucas Neff, and a boy named Spot on a venture home to the Clawed-Tooth Mountains. On their journey, the unlikely duo will encounter a variety of different dinosaurs, including a Pterodactyl, a Velociraptor, and of course, a trio of T-Rexes (perhaps playing a similar role to the trio of sharks in Finding Nemo?), to name a few. The film is described as "a boy and a dog story, but the roles are reversed. Arlo, the dinosaur, is the boy in the story and Spot is the dog."

In the story, which takes place in an alternate universe in which the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs never struck, dinosaurs can speak whereas humans cannot, which should make for an interesting dynamic between the two lead characters. Pixar is reportedly taking a more photo-realistic approach to the movie's look; “the level of believability we’re striving for in this film is going to be breathtaking,” raved Lasseter.

With the film a mere six months away, the first teaser for The Good Dinosaur could drop any day now; expect to see it for sure by the time Inside Out hits theaters next month.

Following The Good Dinosaur next summer is a sequel that, when it was first announced, most were not expecting to ever see. In 2016, Pixar will dive back into the colorful world of the ocean to meet up once again with Marlin, Nemo, and of course, the forgetful but endearing Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. Finding Dory will delve deeper into the titular regal blue tang's origins and will not focus on her literally getting lost, but rather on her finding herself—and her family. The new film, set in the waters of the Pacific Ocean just six months after the events of Finding Nemo, will introduce Dory's parents (voiced by Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy), as well as a whale-shark named Destiny who "thinks she’s a whale, but [is] actually a shark” and an octopus.

Finding Dory arrives in theaters June 17, 2015.

Lastly, Lasseter very briefly spoke about Toy Story 4, which he is directing and is scheduled for a June 2017 release. He described the film as "not as much a continuation of the past films, but a brand new chapter in the Toy Story world," which should be reassuring to those worried that a fourth film in the series would taint what is regarded as a near-flawless trilogy.

With all this and even more in store, the future is looking bright for Pixar. Though the first of these films is still six months away, Inside Out will be here in less than three weeks to help ease your appetite for Pixar goodness.

via Variety

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

'Inside Out' Debuts to Stellar Reviews

With the film a mere month away, reviews have begun to roll in for Pixar's Inside Out. The film was screened at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday and has garnered quite the enthusiastic response.

Twelve reviews in, the film holds a 100% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Variety, Vanity Fair and The Hollywood Reporter, to name a few, have all published reviews singing the film's praises. Some have also taken to Twitter to express their love of Pixar's latest:

So far, Inside Out is shaping up to be Pixar's biggest critical hit since Toy Story 3. Cars 2 was the studio's first film to not receive critical acclaim, and though Brave and Monsters University were both received positively, they were not the critical darlings that, say, Up, WALL-E, or the Toy Story films were. Inside Out, however, seems like it will silence those still claiming that Pixar has "lost its touch" and will no doubt become another cherished classic in the Pixar library.

Inside Out opens June 19; just one month from now!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Synopsis for 'The Good Dinosaur' Emerges

Having been pushed back a whole eighteen months after a swap in directors, we still know relatively little about Pixar's upcoming feature The Good Dinosaur, whose development can be traced as far back as 2009. We are now just six months away from the film's release and still know next to nothing about it besides its basic plot, and even that information may be outdated since the film is said to have been reworked entirely after Pete Sohn took over for Bob Peterson as director. A new synopsis has now dropped, and though it is somewhat vague, it does give an idea as to where the story lies as of now.

"The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of."

The film appears to still be, at its core, the same basic story that was originally envisioned.We were never really given a very detailed description of the film's initial plot to begin with, so it is hard to say exactly how much has changed. The whole notion of the dinosaurs being farmers is confirmed to have been scrapped, but outside of that we may not know exactly what has changed from the original version of the film to its current iteration until the home media bonus features arrive.

With the release of Inside Out fast approaching, expect to see a teaser trailer, which should shed some more light on the film's story, sooner than later. The Good Dinosaur opens November 25.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pixar Unveils New Short 'Sanjay's Super Team'

Concept art from Pixar's latest short, Sanjay's Super Team

Pixar has made it a tradition to pair each of their theatrical feature-length films with an original short. Though it has been known for a while that June's Inside Out will be released alongside Lava, directed by James Ford Murphy, the short that will be released in November with The Good Dinosaur remained concealed until recently. That short has now been revealed to be titled Sanjay's Super Team.

Directed by first-timer Sanjay Patel, Sanjay's Super Team draws inspiration directly from Patel's childhood. The LA Times gave the following description of the short:

"The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of 'The Avengers,' with the gods appearing like superheroes. As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father's inner world."

Sanjay Patel

Pixar often uses its shorts as a way to experiment with new animation styles and techniques; the combination of computer animation and traditional 2D animation in Day & Night and the photorealistic look of The Blue Umbrella serve as prime examples of this. Based on that brief description and the concept art, it certainly sounds like the studio will break new ground with their latest short. With the combined forces of Pixar's artists' masterful artistry and Patel's deeply personal story, Sanjay's Super Team will no doubt be a welcome addition to the impressive library of Pixar short films.

The short is produced by Toy Story 3 and Monsters University associate producer Nicole Paradis Grindle, with music composed by Mychael Danna, who won an Oscar for Best Original Score for his work on Life of Pi. Catch Sanjay's Super Team in theaters this November alongside The Good Dinosaur!